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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Husker Du: Drummer Grant Hart dies at 56

by Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune


Husker Du: Even if you took away Bob Mould’s songs and just kept Grant Hart’s, you’d still have a great band — one of the most important and influential of the last 40 years.

Hart, who died Thursday at 56 of cancer, was Husker Du’s protean drummer and shared lead vocals and songwriting with Mould. After the band’s bitter late-'80s breakup, Mould went on to enjoy a celebrated solo career that is still in high gear. In contrast, Hart recorded and toured only sporadically, and in recent years his illness kept him off the road completely. But his legacy towers over indie music. It began with the band he co-founded with Mould in St. Paul, Minn., in 1979.

Mould paid tribute to his former bandmate with a lengthy farewell note on social media. “Grant Hart was a gifted visual artist, a wonderful story teller, and a frighteningly talented musician,” he wrote.

Green Day covered one of Husker Du’s Hart-written songs, “Don’t Want to Know if You are Lonely,” and Billie Joe Armstrong once said, “I wanted to be Husker Du when I started Green Day.”

Husker Du formed soon after Mould met Hart at a record store a block away from Mould’s Macalester College dormitory. Hart was blasting punk rock on the store speakers, and the two started a friendship and soon after a band.

With the addition of bassist Greg Norton, the trio became one of the most punishing hardcore bands on the nascent punk circuit.

Husker Du's classic single written by Grant Hart from the album Candy Apple Grey was released in 1986.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Church: Man Woman Life Death Infinity the 26th album

Man Woman Life Death Infinity is the 26th album by the Church
and will be released on October 6th.


The album is their second with the rejuvenated line-up Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug.

The epic return of 2014's critically lauded Further/ Deeper blossomed into a road-hardened beast over four tours of the USA, two back home in Australia, and a new career high in front of 20,000 Spanish fans on a lap of Europe.

Man Woman Life Death Infinity is where the revitalized quartet's freshly tuned chemistry reaches a new potency and precision: ten songs, 45 minutes, and a quantum leap into unexplored territory as strange as it is irresistible.

"Music is like inner space and we're astronauts," says guitarist Koppes, who co-founded the Church in Sydney in 1980. "It's a spellbinding thing. It's hypnotizing. That's why people like it. It takes them into another world and we're here to open those doors."

"This is the Church's water record," says Kilbey, singer, lyricist and bassist. "I guess water is my element. I've always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn't conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don't know."

"Tim borrowed my son's little electronic drum kit," Haug reveals, "so we had a mutated kit, half acoustic/ half electric, and we were just firing off each other.”

"Peter is like the mad professor of guitar theory. I've learned a lot from him over the last few years but I'm not trying to analyze the harmonic integrity of anything. If it sounds good, I'll keep going down that path. I think we complement each other really well in that way."

For up to date information visit:
thechurchband.net

Another Century (Official Music Video)
Undersea

Monday, September 11, 2017

Gary Numan: Releases "Savage: Songs From A Broken World"

Gary Numan releases his newest album in 4 years called "Savage: Songs From A Broken World", out September 15th.










Gary Numan will be on tour in November at the Fillmore.

My Name Is Ruin is the first video from the new album.
When The World Comes Apart
What God Intended

Monday, August 28, 2017

Spandau Ballet: Gary Kemp talks Tony Hadley’s Exit, Band's Future

by Lyndsey Parker

‘There's still creativity left in this band’
 


Not long ago, new wave legends Spandau Ballet, who originally disbanded in 1990 and re-formed in 2009, seemed poised for a major comeback. Their performance at South by Southwest 2014 — their first stateside concert in 28 years — was one of the hottest tickets of the Texas festival, where they also premiered their critically acclaimed documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World. The following year, Spandau launched a successful U.S. tour … and after that, fans eagerly awaited new music from these New Romantics.

No Longer a Member
But then, in July of this year, lead singer Tony Hadley posted a cryptic and seemingly out-of-the-blue message on Twitter, announcing that due to “circumstances beyond his control,” he was no longer a member of Spandau Ballet.

For now, Spandau is forging ahead and promoting their second documentary (this one about their newly remastered 1986 album, Through the Barricades, with plenty of ironic and now bittersweet scenes about the bandmates’ brotherly bond and willingness to “die for one another.” And this week, the band’s guitarist and principal songwriter, Gary Kemp, speaks about Hadley’s departure and what it means for the future of the group.


Dysfunctional Relationship
“This has been Tony’s stance for the last 20-odd years, where it’s kind of ‘makeup to breakup.’ And there’s only so long you can go in and out of a dysfunctional relationship,” Kemp says. “I actually feel much better now that maybe we don’t have to pretend or worry about it anymore.”

Kemp admits that there has “always been tension” between him and Hadley, and that they “were always poles apart — politically, artistically, socially. We were very, very extremely different people.” Kemp also says Hadley never quite got over an ultimately unsuccessful 1999 lawsuit that he, multi-instrumentalist Steve Norman, and drummer John Keeble filed over Kemp’s songwriting royalties.
However, Kemp stresses that around the time of Spandau’s 2014–2015 reunion, he felt a renewed kinship with the frontman. “Coming back together, it felt really good. … It seemed to be running rather smoothly, going well. But I think Tony had a line in the sand, and he didn’t go beyond that. And that was in his head; he didn’t express that to us at the time. We thought we were going to continue.”

Still, Hadley’s exit wasn’t as abrupt as it may have seemed to the band’s fans. “He told us in Hong Kong, on the last show of the tour [in September 2015], that he didn’t want to do it anymore,” Kemp reveals. “He said that he wouldn’t want to do it for another five years, at least — and when you get to our age, that sounds like the rest of your life! And then we had a lot of offers that came in and came in and came in and came in, and he kept saying, ‘No, no, not interested.’ So that, to me, is leaving the band. Tony’s heart was just always much more towards being a solo artist after the last tour, which was frustrating for everybody.”

Kemp looks at the renaissance that Spandau’s friendly ’80s rivals, Duran Duran, have enjoyed over the past few years, and he acknowledges that Spandau could have been in a similar position if they’d been able to take advantage of their post-SXSW momentum. “It’s a shame that Tony didn’t want that, because it was there, and we’d worked quite hard, with the leverage of the film and the tour. So yeah, it’s very frustrating. … We could have been so much more creative as a unit. But if one person doesn’t want to do it, then it makes it much harder.”

Solo
Hadley has continued to perform solo, crooning Spandau’s Kemp-penned classics. “It’s fine. Yeah, he’s still singing my songs. I mean, his solo career seems to be singing our songs, so that’s fine,” Kemp chuckles — though he adds that he’s less than thrilled that Hadley appears on so many nostalgia package tours like this summer’s “Lost ’80s Live”. “That’s the one thing that I would never, ever do, is have the name Spandau Ballet attached to any of those ’80s revues. And I suppose it’s my sadness, with Tony doing those.”

So, will Spandau soldier on sans Hadley? “If we find the right guy,” Kemp answers.

The band revealed in a Facebook Live Q&A Tuesday that they are “actively looking” and will be holding rehearsals in “a couple of weeks” to audition new singers. “We’ve got a process that we’re going through. But that’s all I’m saying.

Kemp elaborates: “I think the sound the four of us make together is exciting, and I think that sound has got a lot to do with the band members apart from Tony. … I mean, there’s plenty of groups that are not the original members, and we may well be one of them going forward. I mean, if Queen can do it.! I just saw Journey doing Dodger Stadium with a Filipino kid [Arnel Pineda] singing for them. Foreigner haven’t even got one original member left! So who knows?

“If Tony doesn’t want to do it, I think we can still plug in. I think there could be other versions of the band, and I think there’s also more new material to be had. I’m sitting in my studio now and I’ve been writing lots of stuff of late, and whether or not that ends up with a band called Spandau Ballet or not, I’m not sure. But I think there’s still creativity left in this band. … On the future side, yes, I still would like to be creative under the umbrella of the name Spandau Ballet.”

Through the Barricades
In the meantime, while fans await the band’s next move, Kemp, his bassist brother Martin, Norman, and Keeble are enthusiastically promoting the reissue of their fifth album, Through the Barricades. A rougher and more arena-rocking effort, partially influenced by their surprising friendship with Def Leppard, the album didn’t make much of dent in the U.S. due to a series of record label misfortunes (and perhaps due to American listeners and radio programmers expecting more smooth blue-eyed soul from the “True”/“Gold” hitmakers) — but it was actually bigger than Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. and Michael Jackson’s Thriller in countries like Italy. And it’s the Spandau era of which the band is most fond.

“We never came to America on that tour, but that tour was by far Spandau in its pomp. That was us at our best. … When we all got back together in 2009, the one show that we watched back, that we thought we would want to emulate to reinvent ourselves, was the Through the Barricades tour, because it’s by far the band at its best live.”

As for where a glamorous band like Spandau — with or without Tony Hadley — will fit in the current or future pop landscape, Kemp is unsure. “We were lucky enough to make music at a time when music was everything to young people. It was more important than it’s ever been and ever will be,” he says.

Perhaps that’s why it’s important to Kemp to preserve Spandau’s legacy with projects like the Through the Barricades reissue and with a possible new frontman. “I’ve been the one nurturing the heritage of the band for a long time,” he notes. “I think while I’m still around, we have to take great care of the product and make sure it’s still remembered well. I’m interested in that for myself, regardless of whether or not Tony is interested in it. It’s a shame — I would have liked to have done it with Tony, but he’s an extremely stubborn guy.”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Marc Almond: Releases ‘Shadows and Reflections’ Album

MARC ALMOND will release a brand new album, 'Shadows and Reflections', on September 22nd in advance of a UK tour.


















'Shadows and Reflections' is an album of orchestral arrangements of iconic torch songs and orchestral pop music from the 1960s and features a selection of tracks made famous by artists like Burt Bacharach, The Yardbirds, Bobby Darin, Julie Driscoll and Billy Fury as well as two brand new songs.

Marc Almond - How Can I Be Sure

Marc Almond performs Say Hello, Wave Goodbye on BBC2
A solo album of new material is scheduled for 2019.

Neil Arthur: Announces New Project, Fader

Neil Arthur announces new project, Fader,
plus a new Blancmange album and a Near Future collaboration…

BLANCMANGE's NEIL ARTHUR has announced his involvement in a new project, FADER, which is a collaboration with BENGE, who in turn is also a member of WRANGLER and JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS.

The first release from the project will be an album entitled "First Light" which is described as being "full of powerful electronic pop songs – up-tempo, dark, with flickers of beauty in the sounds and rhythms".










First Light
I Prefer Solitude
3D Carpets
Guilt, Doubt and Fear
Wonderland


Meanwhile Neil Arthur will release a new Blancmange album, "Unfurnished Rooms", in September and is currently collaborating with art-pop electronic artist Bernholz on his forthcoming Near Future project.

In March 2011, Blancmange reunited and released their fourth studio album, Blanc Burn.
Luscombe then left the band again, though Arthur elected to continue recording and performing as Blancmange.

Blancmange performed a UK tour in November 2013, during which they played their 1982 debut album ("Happy Families") in its entirety.
In 2015, the first single from Semi Detached, "Paddington", was released.
The "Commuter 23" album was released in 2016.

Friday, July 21, 2017

SPARKS: Release New Studio Album, 'Hippopotamus'

SPARKS release a brand new studio album, 'Hippopotamus', on September 8th.



The band will be on the road with 'The Hippopotamus Tour' in San Francisco October 20th at The Chapel with 2 shows to promote the release.

Reviewers said:
Sparks prove once again that intelligence, wit and musical competence is possible in pop music.

This song is so stupid. I love it!

First listen: Wow this is weird even for them......ten minutes later singing There's a painting by Hieronymus BOSCH! by Hieronymus BOSCH! by Hieronymus in my pool.